Dear IES,

I would like to share my SAT journey with you and all your students. If you are awkwardly awaiting a private lesson, workshop, or class… then this can entertain you for about a minute. Here are the scores: CR- 580• Math- 590• Writing- 440 (Essay: 6)

My parents were ready to give up on me, and any sort of future I could potentially have. So that leaves my original score, before ever stepping in to the doors of IES, a total of 1610. And yes, my dad did think that I was telling him a combined CR and math score. I always deemed myself as “not the test taker” or not “book smart”. I doused myself with excuses and ultimately allowed myself to be mediocre. To be completely frank, when my parents signed me up for a 12-week course and then another 12-week bridge on top of that, I was less than pleased. Actually, I think I gave my parents the silent treatment for a few days. I still remember that cold November Saturday. I was late, and Arianna was emphatically (that’s an SAT word) explaining how to create mnemonic charts. To say the least, I was intimidated. Within the second week of classes, I came around. Ari is tough, and doesn’t take excuses. She’s blunt. She encouraged me, and propelled my work ethic to another level. Khalid is simply brilliant. He will attack a math problem from multiple facets. He’s absolutely hilarious, musically talented, and truly inspirational. The two are a team better than the math and reading section combined. (Is that even funny? I thought it was…) Four hours seemed like a longtime to dedicate to SAT prep- especially because Monday through Friday I had already spent 35+ hours at school. Oh and let’s not forget about another 4 hours of workshops/bridges. And this best part was… I had an hour and a half commute from Pennsylvania! I wouldn’t have traded these enriching experiences I garnered from IES for anything. I won’t lie. I spent hours upon hours doing timed math topos, writing thesis statements, and working on sentence completion problems. I probably wrote enough margin answers to fill a novel. I did my homework religiously. I gave up my friends for a few months, and really focused on the important stuff. And don't worry; I am confidently telling you this one-year later, my friends are still my friends. The thing is, I was motivated like never before. Something inside ignited, and I attribute that to the cast of characters at IES.

My final super score goes something like this-• CR- 690• Math- 740• Writing- 730 (Essay: 11) I totaled a 2150, a 540 point improvement. I’m not lying, I swear. Ask Kristie for my number- I will confirm this.  Let me stress that none of this was easy. There were many times that I broke down, cried or pitied myself. I often went to the Buttery Bake Shop and ordered two cannolis and a giant slice of crumb cake. I constantly asked: Why do I have Asian parents? 
 I have to admit, mom was right all along. I did it. And seriously, if I can do it… ANYONE can. This improvement in scores opened up a range of schools I could and did apply to. • I applied for early decision to NYU, Stern School of Business- I was accepted.• University of Chicago- I was deferred.• University of Michigan, Ross School Of Business- I was accepted.• Penn State- I was accepted.• University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill- had to rescind my app due to Early Decision agreement. Not too shabby for a girl who was seriously considering community college just a few months ago.



This literally means, “long pain isn’t worth short pain”.  The Chinese philosophy is always “work hard now, rest easy later”. I traded in a little portion of my life and worked my butt off so I could have a brighter future. It was completely worth it. I invested a lot of time and energy, and in return, I am going to the college I’ve only dreamt of.
I just want to say a collective “Thank You” to all of the teachers at IES. Because of you, I will be attending the college of my  choice. You guys made something out of nothing, and I really couldn’t be more appreciative of that. I will never forget when Khalid and I had a private lesson, and he spontaneously asked me to stop working. “What is it that you want to do, Claire?” he threw at me. Needless to say, I answered back with “business”. He cared not only about what I would score on my SAT, but how those scores would eventually define me, how they would make me happy, and how they would create a new path in my life. I would also like to stress that Ari is literally the coolest person I have ever met. There’s no better way to put it. I love my IES family, and I will never  forget how you have changed me. What IES is doing is something quite amazing. You are altering the course of students’ futures. It's truly something unbelievable.  I am forever grateful- as proven by my instantaneous flow of tears when I came to visit. Please always keep the front door open… there’s always a train coming in from NYC thirty feet away….
P.S. If you’re (I’m talking to the pupils) feeling down, seriously just go and hold a two minute conversation with Kristie. She just may make you laugh so hard that you pee your pants. She’s awesome, and I owe her a big thank you.

With much love and best wishes,Claire Huang